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Dec 16 is a day that we must never forget: Gen Bajwa

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Saturday reiterated that December 16 is a day we never forget due to the tragedy of the Army Public School in Peshawar three years ago.

The army chief was interacting with participants after visiting the army marksmanship Firing Ranges near Jhelum, as chief guest at the closing ceremony of 37th Pakistan Army Rifle Association (PARA) central meet, the mega shooting competition in the country.

“16 Dec is a day that we must never forget. Our enemy hurt us on this day at Peshawar three years back. We have come out of this heart wrenching incident through national resilience and faith.

“However, we still have a lot to do to ensure that we completely defeat them who perpetrated that crime against us,” he reiterated.

While at national level, Gen Bajwa said the path is outlined in National Action Plan, at the army level it is the pursuit of professional excellence and commitment which has turned the tide.

COAS emphasised that activities like firing competitions play a vital role. “The best way to pay homage to our Shuhada (martyrs) is through our contributions to the national strength in pursuit of national objectives,” he concluded.

A total of 811 firers including 142 civilians and 25 teams from three services, Pakistan Rangers, Lahore Garrison Shooting Gallery, Federal Rifle association and Pakistan Police from Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa participated in 29 events during the four weeks long event.

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Several officers and soldiers wounded in war who had overcome various levels of combat disabilities also participated in the event.Pakistan Army team scored maximum points win the inter-services firing competition.

COAS awarded the trophies and medals to the winners and runners up in each category of shooting.

The highest military shooting honour ‘The Master at Arms Trophy’ was awarded to Havaldar Sadiq Badshah of Bahawalpur Corps. The President’s Cup National Challenge Match Trophy was awarded to sepoy Azeem Shah of army team. The Prime Minister ‘Skills at Arms’ big bore National Challenge Match was won by the army .

The COAS trophy was won by Pakistan Air Force. Chief of Air Staff pistol match was won by Pakistan Navy. The ‘Best Shot Match Trophy’ was awarded to Nazar Ali. Major General Ahsan Gulrez won two individual and three team medals during the competition.

Gen Bajwa appreciated the shooters on their excellent standard of marksmanship. He said that shooting is one of the basic soldiering skills and mastery in this is a proud achievement.

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